Stitch Merchant
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Manning Canning

Every once in a while someone will come to me with a project proposal I simply can't say no to. The most recent one to come my way was Manning Canning. Christine Manning is the mastermind behind this tasty enterprise. I've known Christine for long time now. She's incredibly smart, knows how to do her research, knows how to give a wicked brief and knows how to make some mean preserves. There was no way I wasn't going to do it.

Logos are always challenging at the beginning. There are a lot of ideas floating around and not all of them are worth the paper they're drawn on. But the one idea I couldn't pass up was the graphic beauty of the mason jar. And that great big circle at the top was begging for a flourish. I knew the lid would be promoting some of the best preserves this side of Christine's nona's house. The star just made sense.

When designing labels for a line of thirty-five products there are a lot of things to consider. I needed to break it up a little. The simplest and most natural break was between fruit and non-fruit. That left both sides almost even: eighteen of one and seventeen of the other. I also wanted to keep each variety identifiable from the next but again, thirty-five or even eighteen varities are hard to distinguish from each other. I found the best answer was to colour each jar a different colour. For the fruit, I started with yellow, gradually progressed to red and finished near purple. For the non-fruit, I started with a cool yellow and went all the way through to a blue-green. All bright, fresh and clean colours. It's amazing how different they all look and yet look like they belong together.

Christine has been working tirelessly on this venture. There have been a lot of ups and downs. All of which she has documented on her blog. You should definitely head over there to check it out because she also shares some amazing recipes. Or even better, head down to the farmer's market on the U of T Scarborough Campus at Lawrence and Morningside between 11am and 3pm tomorrow (Wednesday, March 7) to cheer her on and score yourself a jar of goodness. You won't be sorry.

Photograph by Christine Manning

Photograph by Christine Manning